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Everything posted by Homebody2

  1. Which online mentor program are you going with? I've been thinking about going this route for German. Thanks for your updates!
  2. Off topic, but in case you want more book suggestions to add to the list 😄 my son also read Refugee by Alan Gantz. It's a fictional book written for middle school students and tells the stories of 3 refugee children from different modern-era time periods. They each experience harrowing journeys of survival. Lost in the Pacific, 1942: Not a Drop to Drink tells the true story of 3 WWll soldiers who were shot down and lost at sea.
  3. I gravitate towards the young adult version. I guess my reason is because I can. Although many of the topics in these books are ones my son, 13, is familiar with, reading them in a narrative form is a whole different experience because the characters are real people from the recent past. I read the adult version of Unbroken , and I chose for him to read the young adult version because it was much more appropriate, simply because there is a lot of detail in the adult version that just isn't needed to understand and appreciate the story. The man has a colorful childhood and suffers greatly in captivity. My son also read the young adult version of the other 2 books you mention, but he chose them, not me. He especially enjoyed Hidden Figures. I'm reading through the young adult version of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson right now. The adult version is one of the best nonfiction books I have ever read. It is a compelling read about race, inequality, the criminal justice system, the death penalty, sacrifice, determination. These are heavy topics, and again, the characters are real people from the very recent past. And the injustices that they experienced were sometimes brutal (like being raped in prison) and they happened when they were children or barely adults! I know my kid, and he's not ready for that. I haven't read enough to decide if I'll have him read the young adult version now or the adult version later in high school. I think this book would be valuable to read before To Kill a Mockingbird. He ties together life for African Americans since the end of slavery like no author I have ever read.
  4. I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. It's very stressful to have a chronically ill child, and I imagine it's even more stressful as you don't have a diagnosis yet. Our son, now 13, was chronically ill from ages 2-10 (each cycle of illness and treatment lasted about 3 years). I knew we were in it for the long haul, so I tried to approach it by thinking that this is just our new normal, not something to get through. This process was going to take years, and I didn't want my son's childhood to be missed. I didn't want years to go by with illness being our focus. So we lived life (it sure didn't look like a normal life, but it was to us). My best piece of advice is to have a routine and stick with it. Not a time of day routine, but just a rhythm of things that happen every day. That helped me, our son, and our whole family feel normal. Every day we got up, ate breakfast, got dressed and I read aloud. Then we did some lessons. What lessons looked like each day depended on many factors, but we did them every day. Then lunch, a read aloud, rest time (usually watching shows for an hour), and free time. We even stuck with this routine during our frequent hospital stays! We stuck with math, spelling, and grammar. Writing seemed to be the biggest challenge on days my son felt bad, so we did writing mostly as oral narrations. He narrated and I wrote. Grammar was mostly oral as well. I used FLL as our guide and incorporated copywork a couple days a week. Much of our time was spent reading. Our favorite subject has always been history, so I read aloud from Story of the World twice a week and read lots of books about whatever time period we were studying. Science was just reading as well. On days we had appointments, lessons were canceled. To account for days missed, we schooled year round, taking days off for breaks and holidays. Once we had a rhythm to our days, it was easy to incorporate more during the days and weeks when my son felt well. It can be hard to balance, I know. On the one hand, you want your child to rest and be stress-free, but on the other hand you know that this isn't a short illness that will last just a few days at which point you can get back to things as normal. There won't be normal for months, years, or ever for some families, so you have to find a new normal. Figure out that normal for your family and just live. Incorporate the illness into your world instead of looking at it as something to get through. That's what helped us. I hope it maybe helps you.
  5. I've been so inspired by this thread! We've decided to drop Latin and grammar for the next 6 months at least and set some goals for learning our preferred languages. 11yr old is learning French and 13yr old is learning German. I'm refreshing my Spanish. Both boys are excited to read in their languages, so I've started looking for resources to support this. It's harder than you think! Any suggestions for places to find easy articles about basic science concepts in French or German? I'd love to find a simple encyclopedia written in each language. I've found many free older German and French children's books online. We love history, so it might be fun to read one and discuss it within the context of the time periods. I've found some kid's websites in both languages, each about specific topics my boys are interested in. Also, both boys really enjoyed the layout of Getting Started With Latin. Any suggestions for a similar intro program for French or German?
  6. Thank you so much for all of the advice, Lori! My son is exploring Tinker CAD, and he's loving it. You also helped me step back a bit and think about if these feelings are about what I want for my son or what he wants. My son and I have had some good conversations these last few days, and now I have a better understanding of what he wants. It looks like space camp is in our future!
  7. My 13 year old son loves all things space. He reads books and watches documentaries about all kinds of topics relating to the universe. He also loves to learn about how things work. I give him plenty of time during the day to follow his own interests, but I'm having this nagging feeling that he needs more. I'm not sure what that more is, though. He might need more direction and instruction. For example, he's talked about entering a contest for inventors, but he's never really invented anything. He talks about solutions to really big problems that exist in space travel, but I don't think he has any idea how to go about finding a solution to any of the problems. I don't have a clue either! I think he would thrive if he had the right instruction or tools or teacher, but I don't know how to make any of this happen. I've searched for inventors/robotics/space clubs and online groups/classes, but I haven't really found anything that seems right. I keep coming across contests that teams can enter, but I can't find information about how to join these teams. Most of them are through schools, and there's no way I can start a group because I have no clue how to lead it! I live in a large city, so I should be able to find what he needs. I'm at such a loss and need help. What does he need to help further his interest and how do I find it?
  8. I read it out loud to my kids, reading about half a chapter at a time. I've been reading out loud from a history spine since my oldest was in kindergarten. My boys love it, and history is their absolute favorite subject. After I read it loud, my 7th grader writes a short 4-5 sentence summary about it. Sometimes these summaries are written in foldables that I've printed out. We're currently using some great ones about US history that I found on Teachers Pay Teachers. Twice a week he picks a book about a topic covered in the reading, reads a section, and then writes a summary of the section one day and makes a short outline of another section on the second day. I try to have lots of books checked out from the library about events and people from the time period we're studying.
  9. If she likes sentence diagramming, she'll love Grammar for the Well Trained Mind! It's an all encompassing grammar program with the same conversational style as FLL (we did all 4 years of that program, too). My 7th grader started it in mid 6th grade, and he's just now on lesson 92. We take it slow because most of the concepts are new to both of us. 😁
  10. I picked up a used copy of Using Picture Storybooks to Teach Character Education by Susan Hall on Amazon a few years ago for $5. It covers about 20 character traits, listing and summarizing books that deal with each one. It also summarizes how each book explores the specific trait it's been selected to teach. There's also a section in the back that ties each book to subjects and historical time periods. Well worth the $5!
  11. Homebody2


    I agree with Lanny. My mom was just diagnosed. At her regular eye appointment, the optometrist saw the signs of macular degeneration and told her to make an appointment with a retinologist asap. She went two days later where she was diagnosed. You should see an MD (retinologist or opthalmologist) for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
  12. We just started Tops chemistry. My boys are enjoying the hands on experiments and self directed aspects of the curriculum. They're 7th and 5th grades https://topscience.org/collections/chemistry
  13. We've just finished Biology for the Logic Stage https://elementalscience.com/collections/biology-for-the-logic-stage I liked the order of study, and the experiments were fairly easy to set up and do. Each week included an easy to label diagram and many supplemental readings and assignments. I added my own readings and videos and didn't follow the reading/writing suggestions, and we did our own summaries and outlines. I still thought the curriculum was well worth the money (I bought both the teacher and student e-book guides). My now 4th grader did the whole unit with us as well, and it was easy to modify for him. I just purchased the Earth Science for the Logic Stage. I just wanted to add that this curriculum aligned with my goals for middle school science: To keep a science notebook To set up and execute an experiment without much parent input To go through the steps of the scientific method, writing them down during the process To be exposed to different science concepts and discover how they are interconnected To come to conclusions about scientific concepts To learn new vocabulary
  14. Just an aside... My library has many of these magazines for check out through the digital library. Maybe yours does, too!
  15. I agree with this. We used it this past year along with our history of ancients. We tied it in with math and geography, too, as there are chapters about longitude and latitude as well as the Pythagorean theorem. My boys, ages 9 and 11, both enjoyed learning how the human knowledge of science grew. There are no hands on experiments as this really is a history text. It's well written, and the chapters are pretty short. I think the text makes more sense when read in historical context, but you certainly could still gain a lot just reading it on its own. I guess one could use the book as a guide to create science lessons/experiments based on certain chapters, assuming you use the term science broadly. There could be hands on experiments/projects about math theories, building design, geography, etc. The quality of a course like this would really depend on the teacher and his or her skill at designing something like this. You really need to decide if you want your child to take a structured, traditional science course or something that may be a bit more unconventional and not technically a science experiment focused course at all.
  16. My library has a page on its website listing all of the electronic resources they offer to patrons. I just clicked the site from there and used my library account number to create an account. Both kanopy and hoopla have apps you can download for free and install on your phone or tablet. We have them installed on our tablet, and that's how we watch.
  17. Yes, very similar to hoopla. I just discovered it about a month ago. There are some amazing titles on it, including documentaries of all kinds. We use both hoopla and now kanopy for tv since we don't own one. Billy Nye and Inspector Gadget are on hoopla. Love it!
  18. The book began a little slow for me, and I kept wondering where the story was going to go. It picked up for me after Nishioka realized he had changed. I guess that was the aspect of the story that I liked so much, the ability for people to be changed forever by something or someone that they didn't even realize was altering them. The work to create the dictionary and the time spent with others in that environment impacted everyone in different ways. I always enjoy reading about how people's lives are impacted by others, even in a fictional story.
  19. Good advice. We're just starting sixth with the oldest, and Rethinking School couldn't have come out at a better time for me. It's an easy read with such great little nuggets that remind me to reevaluate and think about the overall goal of learning and education. We've continued to homeschool because of the freedom it allows, and her book reminded me how different educational choices can be, and how we can continue to educate at home without being afraid to do it outside of the box.
  20. I make a review page that my kids do each day outside of math time. I write 2-5 problems they need extra practice with in a notebook for each child. I've been doing this for about 2 years now, and it's working pretty well to keep concepts in mind. Also, slow down if you need and take longer to cover the material. There's no rush to finish. Understanding the concept is key. Fractions and area and perimeter come back around in level 5 of Singapore.
  21. At first I just thought it was the obvious river he crossed in the dark to get to China, but I guess it could be more. Maybe his life is like a meandering river trying to make its way to the sea where something less oppressive and bigger might exist. He wants so much to break free of the confining "banks" surrounding his life, but he cannot. His life was shrouded in darkness, despair and hunger. And even after he escaped, his life still continued to be shrouded in darkness and meander like a river. He never made out to the sea.
  22. This quote spoke to me as well. He truly had no power to change anything for himself or his family. And the desperation to just survive was ever-present in his life. He tried so hard to provide for his family when there just was little to nothing to provide.
  23. Yes, this exactly. The writing style was just as his life. It's like the words were simply tools to tell his story, just like he was a tool of the society in which he lived. He had no free will; he wasn't allowed to make his own choices. He was just a cog in the system, a tool whose sole purpose was to perform a function intended to benefit the whole.
  24. I was wondering about this, too. And I also wondered if things have changed at all for those who are living at the bottom of the social structure like the author. Have things changed at all in North Korea with the advancements in technology or are things still the same for most people? And what about the work camps. Weren't the three detainees who were just released from North Korea in work camps? It seems to me the author wouldn't have much hope about talks because they seem so irrelevant to bringing an end to any of the suffering of regular people.
  25. I have always tried to differentiate between writing and the physical act of writing. My 5th grader "writes" (dictates to me) long narrations, but he physically writes 3-4 sentence summaries. He's now working on physically writing full paragraphs. I follow TWTM, but I've modified the actual physical writing over the years. I think my almost 12 year old is now ready to do more physical writing, and I think he's mentally ready, too. All the oral narration, dictation work, note taking, grammar practice, and outlining has prepared him well.
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